Ted Kennedy, Tolerance, and Truth

I’m culling from other sources (busy morning!) in re Ted Kennedy’s death.

A friend of mine posted the following quote, included in a TK obit but clipped from a Jerry Fallwell Moral Majority fundraiser in the 80’s:

I believe there surely is such a thing as truth, but who among us can claim a monopoly? There are those who do, and their own words testify to their intolerance.

Indeed.  If frustration over politicians’ ability to avoid prosecution for DUI manlslaughter is “intolerance” then I’m guility.

One of my favorite professors summed it up best, via Facebook:

Ted Kennedy was perhaps the country’s foremost symbol of the effects of wealth and privilege: On July 18 1969 he drives off a bridge one evening on Chappaquiddick island, in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. His lone passenger, a beautiful woman, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, drowns inside the closed car from which Kennedy has managed to escape. Kennedy leaves the scene and does not call the authorities until after Kopechne’s body is discovered the following day, after a 10-hour delay, after alcohol is no longer detectable. The judge in the inquest – held in camera – rules that Kennedy “was probably guilty of criminal conduct”, but made no move to indict him.

That this man could escape prosecution, and that he could go on to pursue a successful political career, says damning things about the Rule of Law in America.

I’d be curious to see a Venn diagram comparing those who forgot about Jesus Juice and those who forgot about Kopechne upon MJ’s and TK’s respective deaths.  Is it simply rose-colored glasses making hindsight more prone to canonization than perfection?  Or a short political memory because we love our American dynasties?


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